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Goldfrapp's 'Clay' the true story of a WWII GI and his lover
Sep16

Goldfrapp's 'Clay' the true story of a WWII GI and his lover

LAST UPDATED // Monday, 16 September 2013 09:30 Written by // Cec Busby

Goldfrapp frontwoman Alison Goldfrapp has revealed the inspiration for the band’s lush string laden and extremely poignant love song 'Clay' was a WWII letter from a gay soldier to the one he loved.

Goldfrapp told Idolator each track on the album reveals the tale of one person’s life. All the tracks are about women apart from 'Avatar' and 'Clay'.

She says 'Clay' was inspired by a letter from LettersofNote website.

“I found a letter on a website called Letters Of Note. It’s basically a letter from a soldier to another soldier. They met in [World War II] and became lovers, and tragically one of them dies in battle. So they’re not able to ever resume their love. This letter is written on the anniversary of the other’s death, and it just moved me so much that it inspired the song,” Godfrapp told Idolator.

The love letter was written by former US soldier Brian Keith to Dave, a fellow soldier, you can read the letter below.

Dear Dave,
This is in memory of an anniversary — the anniversary of October 27th, 1943, when I first heard you singing in North Africa. That song brings memories of the happiest times I’ve ever known. Memories of a GI show troop — curtains made from barrage balloons — spotlights made from cocoa cans — rehearsals that ran late into the evenings — and a handsome boy with a wonderful tenor voice. Opening night at a theatre in Canastel — perhaps a bit too much muscatel, and someone who understood. Exciting days playing in the beautiful and stately Municipal Opera House in Oran — a misunderstanding — an understanding in the wings just before opening chorus.

Drinks at "Coq d'or" — dinner at the "Auberge" — a ring and promise given. The show 1st Armoured — muscatel, scotch, wine — someone who had to be carried from the truck and put to bed in his tent. A night of pouring rain and two very soaked GIs beneath a solitary tree on an African plain. A borrowed French convertible — a warm sulphur spring, the cool Mediterranean, and a picnic of "rations" and hot cokes. Two lieutenants who were smart enough to know the score, but not smart enough to realize that we wanted to be alone. A screwball piano player — competition — miserable days and lonely nights. The cold, windy night we crawled through the window of a GI theatre and fell asleep on a cot backstage, locked in each other’s arms — the shock when we awoke and realized that miraculously we hadn't been discovered. A fast drive to a cliff above the sea — pictures taken, and a stop amid the purple grapes and cool leaves of a vineyard.

The happiness when told we were going home — and the misery when we learned that we would not be going together. Fond goodbyes on a secluded beach beneath the star-studded velvet of an African night, and the tears that would not be stopped as I stood atop the sea-wall and watched your convoy disappear over the horizon.

We vowed we’d be together again "back home," but fate knew better — you never got there. And so, Dave, I hope that where ever you are these memories are as precious to you as they are to me.

Goodnight, sleep well my love.

Brian Keith

Watch the music video for Clay

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Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and GayNewsNetwork.com.au.

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